Cryptocurrencies Crash 25% to 50% across the Board

You’ll get whiplash just from watching.

Overnight and this morning, cryptocurrencies crashed across the board in a spectacularly dizzying way. The craziness of this, and the religious fervor with which these things are being promoted, and what happens when some folks are trying to get out, are taking on ever grander, more exaggerated, and even humorous proportions.

So here are the top eight cryptos by market capitalization, with prices at the moment. There is one thing I can guarantee: by the time you read this, prices will have changed dramatically, one way or the other, in a whiplash inducing manner.

Bitcoin (BTC), with a market capitalization currently of $200 billion, has crashed 23% so far today to $12,121, according to WorldCoinIndex. It’s down 39% from its peak of $19,900 on December 17. Chart via WorldCoinIndex:

Note that the prices quoted at different exchanges around the globe vary by a large margin. Bitfinex, the largest exchange by volume, quoted BTC just above $12,000 while CEX, the sixth largest exchange, quoted it about $2,000 higher. So this is pricing chaos. WorldCoinIndex takes the price from different exchanges and averages them out.

There is a lot of talk of how traders are just switching from bitcoin to the “next bitcoin,” that they’re dumping bitcoin and buying the next bitcoins, but the next bitcoins are crashing even more.

Ethereum (ETH) with a market cap of $54.6 billion has plunged 29% so far today to $565.46 and is down 34% from its peak of $860 on December 19.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH), the offshoot of Bitcoin, has crashed 35% today to $2,030 and is down 51% from its peak of $4,100 on December 20, cutting its market cap to $33.4 billion.

Ripple (XRP) has crashed 35.6% today to $0.76. Just late yesterday it had peaked at $1.22. On December 20, it was at $0.71. One heck of an up-and-down trip. Two weeks ago, it was still at $0.23. Market cap of $29.4 billion

Litecoin (LTC) has crashed 34% today to $206 and is down 43% from its peak two days ago, which was when its founder Charlie Lee announced that he’d dumped his entire stake, possibly a very wise decision on his part. Market cap has shrunk to $11.4 billion.

Iota (IOT) has crashed 43% today to $2.68 and is down 52% from its peak of $5.60 on December 19. Market cap has plunged to $7.4 billion

EOS, whose mind-blowing, record-setting, buyers-get-nothing ICO (initial coin offering) we featured a couple of days ago, has crashed 33% today to $7.14 and is down 41% from its peak of $12.14 on December 19. Market cap plunged to $7.15 billion

Dash has plunged 30% today to $972.43 and is down 38% from its peak of $1,569 on December 20. Market cap is now down to $7.5 billion

All kinds of reasons are being trotted out to explain this massacre, but there are really just three things that matter and that came together:

  1. There is no liquidity in cryptocurrencies, and it’s devilishly hard to get out without crashing the price. So when even a modest amount of selling occurs, the price crashes.
  2. There is no rational framework with which to value these things, so they cannot be “overvalued” or “undervalued,” and the price can go anywhere, and that’s what it does.
  3. Betting on cryptos is a peculiar form of online gambling on a global scale that requires a consensus among participants that they only buy, and that you cannot ever cash out, and now that some folks are trying to cash out, the bets for everyone else are souring. The same dynamics that pushed prices up have reversed and are causing them to crash.

Every day, I get a dozen or more emails in my inbox that promote one or the other crypto or ICO. There have been about 170 ICOs so far this year that raised over $4 billion. So this is big money. The promoters – some of them are hired PR firms, others are parties related to the token issuers – want to get free promos on my site. That’s how they operate. They’re promoting the craziest things. And many of them are now promoting the “next bitcoin.”

These promoters are also paying a ton of money for ads, which have spread all over the internet, including “next bitcoin” ads.

It doesn’t help that the SEC has finally woken up and is starting to crack down.

“We’re in line for some serious regulatory responses to all of this and that will be forthcoming after the first of the year,” Harvey Pitt, former SEC chairman, told CNBC on Thursday. There has already been some action, including blocking an ICO in the US.

“Everyone else is investing in it, and the price seems to be going up,” Pitt said. “That’s a real problem because there’s a lack of education and knowledge on the part of many of the people who are actually doing the investing.”

The SEC’s impact will be limited because much of the betting is happening in Asia. But there too authorities are cracking down, particularly in China and South Korea, even while North Korea is hacking into exchanges and wallets and steal what it can.

Meanwhile, for onlookers, it’s a form of entertainment, a glance at the dizzying, whiplash-inducing wonders of a world gone nuts.

A software startup registered in the Cayman Islands and lacking a central office has accomplished an astounding feat: It has extracted $700 million from the global public by selling tokens, called EOS. It is by far the largest ICO ever. Hang on to your hat. Read… The Hottest, Largest-Ever Cryptocurrency ICO Mindblower

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  104 comments for “Cryptocurrencies Crash 25% to 50% across the Board

  1. John says:

    A world gone nuts. Now that’s for sure. The question I have though is. can an entity that has become insane ever become sane? I have my doubts that that is possible.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Yes — once something is irrational, there are by definition no longer any rational limits.

      • John says:

        “They are or they’re”

      • BTilles says:

        With all due respect I might add that as social phenonena they are likely to be mean reverting. Add human emotion and your mileage may vary.

      • d says:

        Yes — once something is irrational, there are, by definition, no longer, any rational limits.\


        Yes — once something is irrational, there are by definition, no longer any rational limits.

    • Pat McKim says:

      All one needs to do is stop monetary money printing and this fixes itself as the major feedback mechanism of the world economy starts working again and price discovery becomes real. This works for awhile, but it doesn’t work forever. this kind of craziness always happens in extreme money printing. Look at France during the Assignate inflation that was a part of the French Revolution. It was this inflation that caused so much craziness like the Committee on Public Safety that started the blood flowing from the guillotines on the streets of Paris. This happen primarily in Paris where the money printing had the highest effect. Take away the money printing and things will return rapidly

  2. Bill says:

    Cash out right at the Christmas rush? Good timing for Charlie Brown [sic], I mean Charlie Lee, and those others astute enough to believe the opposite of what the promotors said. Not going to be a Merry Christmas for some. Great article, thanks Wolf.

  3. Womenarefromvenus says:

    It is the climax of a very speculative market where quality is ignored and greed is god. Just the beginning of the end of the spec run of the total mkt madness. Crypto crash just in time to segue to the fed’s party bowl being taken away. Wonder if that tablecloth trick works here?

  4. ron says:

    Waiting for the other shoe to drop. “Meanwhile, for onlookers, it’s a form of entertainment, a glance at the dizzying, whiplash-inducing wonders of a world gone nuts.”

    It IS only because we are in a world gone nuts. Hillary, Donald, N Korea, Obama and GWB spreading freedom and democracy. A house of cards.

  5. Quincy Collins says:

    Year end profit taking? Next year it will rise again as people seek unreasonable rates of return in the absence of alternative investment opportunities. The three basic psychological motivations, at play; greed, greed, and greed.

    • Javert Chip says:

      So how many Bitcoins have you bought today, Quincy?

    • intosh says:

      I agree. The original hoarders/creators of tokens are taking profit for Wall Street traders and the “investor” masses to get in the game. This party is not over yet.

  6. Kent says:

    So I have been studying up on crypto-currencies for the last couple weeks due to all the hoopla. Specifically, I want to understand exactly how the bitcoin block chain works. During the course of this exercise, I perused a number of discussion forums. What I found was most of the post were from folks in 3rd world countries. I’m sure they’re taking it in the shorts today.

    • RangerOne says:

      Which countries? It wouldn’t surprise me given poorer countries where you can still get an internet connection could easily make a living off mining coins with much cheaper power and a bed of American video cards.

      At least in the Alt-coin world. No one sane would try to mine bitcoin. That has been ruled by ASIC farms for years.

  7. Bobber says:

    It may be a good time to buy a little bit for diversification.

    The big question is – will the drop in crypto be contagious and put pressure on other overpriced assets?

    If your goal is to trigger a market collapse, the low volume Holiday season is an interesting opportunity. I imagine some people are choking on their eggnog from Bitcoin movements.

  8. Jeremy says:

    What I’m watching is the open interest on XBT futures on the CBOE. Based on the price move, a fair chunk of change will be moving from one set of hands to another on Jan 17th. Not enough to cause systemic issues, I think, but the people/speculative idiots who bought futures at the top are going to lose a lot.

  9. Javert Chip says:

    Besides Wolf’s “3 things that matter to Bitcoin…”:

    o There is no liquidity in cryptocurrencies
    o There is no rational framework with which to value these things
    o Betting on cryptos is a peculiar form of online gambling on a global scale

    there is a 4th:


    • Let me put on my Libertine hat and suggest there is no illegal activity, the business of bombing Muslim countries using trillions of dollars is aided by onerous restrictions, to see that Muslims cannot return the favor. The economics of war. Drugs are a product enjoyed by many Americans, the illegal kind being less dangerous than opioids. The Libertine part of me applauds Bitcoin for enabling FREE ENTERPRISE. Of course if you want to shelter your taxes just wait for Congress to pass the tax cut. So who needs an offshore bank? The US Federal Reserve is a money laundering operation, and oddly unconcerned with Bitcoin, which is a drop in the blood filled bucket. Bitcoin would have leveled the playing field, RIP. It was a great idea that people should have the same powers as government.

  10. b fast says:

    Yup, it sure has. It hasn’t been this low since December 6. I’m not too disappointed though, I bought 1 coin back when it was $300. ‘Seriously talked with my wife about selling $5000, when it was up at $19,000.

    Bitcoin is good speculative fun, but I wouldn’t buy it with money that I need.

  11. Javert Chip says:

    Has some idiot figured a way to buy these things using margin debt (or something that looks just like it?

    • economicminor says:

      Sure, wasn’t it Wolf that wrote about the Shadow Margin?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Yes, shadow margin: credit cards, HELOCs, mortgage cash-outs, securities based loans…

      • Javert Chip says:


        I appreciate & understand your response. What I meant by “margin debt” is something that would generate forced sales to cover positions (greatly accelerating increases & declines), just like a stock broker.

        I understand shadow loans, but with a margin loan, a third party exists to cash out under-margined players (an individual with an over extended Visa card or HELOC may hang on forever).

  12. Mad Max says:

    Congress is working on Bill S.1241 to criminalize deliberate concealment of property or the control of a financial account aimed at Bitcoin

    • Gershon says:

      What Congress really wants is visibility into all transactions and sources of revenue or wealth to facilitate more rapacious tax extraction and its oligarch patrons’ financial strip-mining of the 99%.

      • Dave says:

        Disclaimer: These rules only apply to the 99%, the 1% may continue to hide all assets/funds/cash/gold etc.

        Best damn government money can buy!

    • RagnarD says:

      I think in some form or another Dish partially answers one of my question posted below.
      The answer being, no you’re not anonymous. Maybe u r, somewhat, Currently, but you won’t be futurely.

    • Old Engineer says:

      Mad Max,
      Although off topic it appears that S.1241 also will require same ID as bank accounts for prepaid cards. The bill will define as “financial institutions”: “An exhibitor, a redeemer or a cashier of prepaid access devices”. Your ID will have to be coded on the card and verified with government issued ID at redemption. Will end the annoying habit of giving you your rebate as a prepaid. Probably would apply to prepaid phone cards as well.

    • fajensen says:

      Asset Forfeiture now coming to bitcoin?

      I think what congress wants is to loot, pillage and plunder everything there is to steal, whether it has any value or not – then pour napalm and agent orange over the mess so nothing will ever grow straight again. As an eternal reminder of how great Freedom really is!

  13. Mortadell says:

    My dear BitWolf readers, what is misunderstood by many is that the norms which were once accepted are now dead. Literally. Forget p/e ratios, valuations etc.
    The average Joe blow doesn’t have a pot to pee in and thats why anything disruptive is going to attract money.
    No, this is not the end of crypto anything, it’s only the beginning.
    The masses were had by the players, govt , banks et al and know it.
    They have no choice but to gamble, they’re tapped out.
    Forget a return on your investments, just keep what you have and try to stretch it…

  14. Gershon says:

    It would take a heart of stone to see all those Bitcoin bubble-chasers get their heads handed to them, and not laugh.

    • DaGrinch says:

      To see the sad panda looks on all the little foo’s faces in fooville as they wake up and look under their digital trees only to find their cryptos gone makes even this grinch shed a tear. But only one.

  15. RagnarD says:

    If one has made a virtual fortune in BTC how does one get out? Yes there is little liquidity. But how do you actually get paid your i.e. $1,000,000 when you do make a transaction?

    Who is holding this cash?
    And how is it delivered to you?

    Who are the entities that pay you, what kind of account would this cash flow into? And at that point – when it became cash- wouldn’t the govt know all about it, thus nullifying a lot of the anonymity / launderbiltiy of the transaction- .i.e. the benefit of the crypto currency.

    Maybe, I’ve just answered my own question. that is, it’s only viable as a money laundering/anonymous transaction vehicle so long as it exist as “a store of value / as money” where in you can buy things anonymously and not have to turn it into cash in a regulated cash account that will be seen by the government.

    • John G says:

      “Who are the entities that pay you, what kind of account would this cash flow into? And at that point – when it became cash- wouldn’t the govt know all about it, thus nullifying a lot of the anonymity / launderbiltiy of the transaction- .i.e. the benefit of the crypto currency.”

      I can’t speak for the US but here in Australia it’s relatively easy to turn AUD$25-50,000 per day of cryptocurrencies in to fiat using exchanges like Coinjar or Living Room of Satoshi. They will deposit money directly in to your bank account.

      And yes, the government does know about it as you need to register with the exchanges and provide sufficient ID for KYC/AML purposes and any transactions over AUD$10,000 are reported by your financial institution.

      No problem for me – my profits are simply from holding coins and I have no problem paying capital gains tax on what was basically free money given I bought in to BTC at an average price of USD$200. Wouldn’t throw someone else’s money at it at current prices.

      • RagnarD says:


        Wow, congrats on the trades.

        I was looking back at my old emails for the first evidence I had of BTC in my discourse. It was in 2014 relating to a link from showing a parabolic chart to $250.
        Maybe about the time u got in…

        • John G says:

          “Wow, congrats on the trades.”

          Thanks, though again it certainly wasn’t like I knew what I was doing at the time. And although I’m fortunate enough to have held on to quite a few coins, I also know that I lost a few and I vividly remember thinking to myself “Nah, I won’t buy anymore until the price comes back below $100. $120 per coin is crazy!”

          2014 sounds about right for when I bought in. A life changing decision now that I’m realising significant gains (though I’ll still hold on to some crypto “assets” as part of my portfolio) but there are going to be a lot of people who get badly burnt when the crash comes.

          It’s hard enough trying to sell during the good times – it will be basically impossibly to get out when the bad times arrive.

  16. Jay says:

    A “store of value” that loses 50% of purchasing power in a week….?? surely the crypto pumpers have a new marketing pitch by now… ROTFL

    They say it’s new money but the transaction times and fees are 10-100x greater than “old” money. How is this better?

    They say it’s anonymous, but the exchanges ask for your photo ID and DOB.

    They say it’s not linked to central authorities.. but the miners and coders set the rules… and change them arbitrarily or fork the currency at will.

    They say it’s secure , but you can loose you’re wallet to hackers without recourse.

    They say you need to own it and never spend but they claim it to be the future payments system.

    They want you t buy it at inflated fiat prices so they can profit from those that are foolish enough to believe all of the above because they know fiat is useful!

    • RagnarD says:

      Thanks for the summary…
      As I’m somewhat famous for saying in my tight circle – as a closing statement – to such a soliloquy as urs:
      “Buy gold”

    • Tom says:

      Well you do not want to point out such things:It may cause a panic.

  17. Qtee says:

    Could it be that the above executive order that Trump issued yesterday is what crashed the crypto market? He has declared it a National emergency.

  18. The NYXBT is the Bitcoin index, not sure what’s in it, lost about half about half its value today.

  19. Old Engineer says:

    So, when it comes right down to it, does the US Dollar have more intrinsic value than Bitcoin? What, really, is “full faith and credit”?

    • BTilles says:

      Taxing power of the federal government (plus the ability to enforce if need be) and the sole ability to issue “coin of the realm”.

    • Winston says:

      “So, when it comes right down to it, does the US Dollar have more intrinsic value than Bitcoin? What, really, is ‘full faith and credit’?”

      Everything owned by everyone in the US, ultimately confiscatable at the point of a government wielded gun via eminent domain or some emergency measure (like gold confiscation by FDR).

    • Valerie says:

      Perception. The USD is perceived as having intinsic value. It is all in the perception of stability VS manic speculation.

  20. SnotFroth says:

    Wolf you know whenever you run this article, within a week cryptos are pushing new all-time highs.

    I think central banks are partly to blame for crypto-mania. There’s a lot of liquidity sloshing around desperately looking for alpha. It would be quite fitting if crypto volatility started to rock the central banker’s yacht.

    As for whether or not cryptos will someday be real currencies and serve some useful purpose in the economy… does it even matter? It seems like our entire financial system increasingly doesn’t serve the real economy and exists mainly to enrich insiders. Earlier this year, cryptos, like so many other markets (housing), became the play-things of eager financiers and the off they went on this wild ride.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      “Wolf you know whenever you run this article, within a week cryptos are pushing new all-time highs.”

      They went from new all-time high to new all-time high even without me publishing anything :-]

  21. Edward says:

    Thee are some great platforms and the hype is just that. It will settle down. Relax It’s volotile it’s fun! Better than stock buy backs with no volatility no price discovery!

  22. timbers says:

    “Everyone else is investing in it, and the price seems to be going up,” Pitt said. “That’s a real problem because there’s a lack of education and knowledge on the part of many of the people who are actually doing the investing.”

    Is he talking about the stock market?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Yeah, that was a little confusing for me too.

    • Trinacria says:

      “investing” in it…this now qualifies as investing? Seems to be another tulip in electronic form. I thought blockchain was for verifying transactions – not “investing” which is really rampant and utterly crazy speculation. Remember when people said the dot coms did not need to have profits? Remember when people used (and are using again) their homes as ATM’s ? I think I’m going to hunker down.

  23. Nick Kelly says:

    A guy in the UK has just accidentally thrown away 129 million worth of Bitcoin. His computer crashed and he threw it away. It’s now in a landfill and even though he’s willing to pay for search, authorities won’t let him.

    You can beat hazard of crash with cloud but lo! then there is a third party record after all.
    I guess backup stored elsewhere would be better?

    • RangerOne says:

      How shitty does that feel? Holy cow.

      • steelhead says:

        Always keep the primary hard drive and backup to another one or two separate hard drives.

    • Judy says:

      This will give rise to a new breed of bitcoin “dumpster divers”!

      It’ll bring a physical dimension to the term “miner”

      What a wonderful “store of value”.

      • Nick Kelly says:

        I wonder if he offers a 10 million dollar reward (or bribe) to be split among the dump staff will they reconsider. If they are unionized put it to a vote and see what lads say.

        Or maybe he should make it 10 percent. At present rate who knows what BC will be worth next week.

      • cdr says:

        ‘What a wonderful “store of value”.’

        You forgot “stable unit of measure”.

        But … but … but They call it a bit COIN. Since it’s a coin that must make it money. Right??? Only a hater would disagree.

    • Nick Kelly says:

      PS: agree but I mean physically separate too. I’ve had a house fire where all was lost.

      PPS: does this mean if you steal a guy’s computer you can steal his BC?
      I see nasty scenarios where getting password is like getting combination of safe.

      • SnotFroth says:

        Indeed for most cryptos, obtaining someone’s ‘private key’ allows you to loot their wallet. And unfortunately for the victim, fraudulent transfers are irrevocable.

        I work in IT and am thankful that wire transfers can be canceled or reversed. Fraud is an explosive problem in the information age, so the immutable nature of crypto transaction is a double-edged sword.

    • Javert Chip says:

      What? You can’t buy UK “authorities” with 129 million in Bitcoinn? What’s this world coming to?

      • fajensen says:

        In the UK the decision makers don’t care much about money, they already have money. If they need more money, they just raise the management compensation on the quango they are sitting on the board off.

        Its like making offerings to demons: One has to offer something of Value and Rarity, like membership of a really exclusive club, access to children taking into care, that kind of thing (And with demons, it is also wise to know that nothing they offer has any real value or it would not be offered in the first place).

        The other end of “The Authorities” is the Jobs-Worth. In this case, the ‘guvner’ running the dump. He will refuse you just because it pleases him. To refuse service is the only real power he has and he enjoys wielding it.

        Although, Jobs_Worths mate – White Van Man – will be digging already :).

  24. EH says:

    Honestly the solvency of the exchanges is the one that worry me the most. Those crypto market price has been artificially push up by people trading one coin for another coin instead of fresh cash. I wonder how much cash do those big exchanges have in their balance.

    • Ifitsmellslikebee$ess says:

      There is no question that the cash does not exist to convert all the bitcoins into cash. It requires cash from the next greater fool to be solvent.

      How much cash do those big exchanges have in their balance?

      My guess would be close to zero. The only cash they probably have is working capital that they can’t pay in bitcoin.

      It requires religion… the religion to believe bitcoin is replacing central bank cash / central bank digital currency. For the original IT geeks in this, I’m sure they have that religion. The problem is now you have a new breed of speculators who do expect bitcoin to be converted into central bank cash.

      Try to convert all the bitcoin that was purchased between $1 and $300 into $15,000…. good luck with that.

  25. hidflect says:

    Bitcoin is a libertarian inspired venture, whose ideas always seem to fall at the first hurdle; human nature.

    • Ifitsmellslikebee$ess says:

      Normally the libertarian is OK with unregulated things failing due to human nature…. that is of course… as long as they aren’t the sucker

  26. Kenneth Logouts says:

    Yawn, selective data or what?

    BCH as an example.

    It’s crashed, but no headlines about the crash ‘up’ to the heady heights over just a week or so, which it’s now crashed back down from.

    Go back a few weeks, or a month tops, ignore recent events, and values are still fine.

    My 5,000% gain became a 10,000% gain over the last month.
    Now it’s back at a 5500% gain.

    Oh noes! The world ended.

    The value of investments can go up or down.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      “It’s crashed, but no headlines about the crash ‘up’ to the heady heights over just a week or so, which it’s now crashed back down from.”

      Just because you didn’t read it doesn’t mean we didn’t write it…

    • Nick Kelly says:

      One thing is certain by definition: nothing that fluctuates this wildly can be a currency. A currency has to be roughly neutral at least in the short/medium term.
      One does not have to be bullish or bearish on US$ , yen , euros, or pounds to accept them as payment for a car. Whatever the long term or even medium term outlook, they aren’t going to be up or down more than one percent before the proceeds can be moved into a more desired currency.

      The Bitcoin bull will want over spot for the car, the Bitcoin skeptic will not pay it ( as of today he may not even accept spot)

      The fantastic run up and then overnight 40 % crash leaves it open to trading as a ‘commodity’ but the idea of it as a currency (note meaning of root word: it is ‘currently’, .i.e. broadly, acceptable) is a contradiction in terms.

  27. Jon says:

    This retrace was orderly on a chart, still above the UTC actually and percentage wise nothing alarming. It’ll make new all time highs next year.

    • Javert Chip says:

      So Jon, how many Bitcoins did you buy today?

      • Jon says:

        I don’t own any. But we’re back to 16,500 just days later :)

        The highs aren’t even close to being in yet.

    • Mike Earussi says:

      Followed by new lows a few months later.

      • Jon says:

        Dude you are clearly clouded by rationality, which isn’t prudent right now in this irrational exuberance. This thing ain’t even close to being done yet. Not until your mother’s plumber quits his job bc he’s making more buying Bitcoin. That’s when the top is in. And I don’t even own any.

    • cdr says:

      gotta love these computer tulips

  28. Rates says:

    I have to admit that prior to this morning I thought the value of these coins is exactly zero, but after seeing many millennials getting skewered, I would say I’d pay 15 bucks i.e. the value of a movie ticket to watch this thing.

    I still don’t think this is it though. It’s too obvious. We’ll see 30K I think before the whole thing tumbles to zero.

    At that point, the people spouting anti government benefits of cryto will be looking for bailout from ….. the government.

    Monkeys don’t fall far from their ancestors.

  29. OutLookingIn says:

    Crypto coins are nothing more nor less, than electronic tulip bulbs (ETB’s) and thus a purely fictitious form of wealth, depending on a computer system for their survival.

  30. Mike Earussi says:

    What goes up must come down. Anyone who is surprised by this has never studied history, just look at Enron stock. The best you can do is grab a box of popcorn and enjoy the show.

  31. Ricardo says:

    There was a person in New Zealand reported in the news last week as having sold his house so he could invest in high powered computers so he could mine his “bitcoin”.
    Wonder if he’s feeling a little “bitsick” right now.

  32. Chris says:

    Bitcoin initially looked promising, but we now know that it has many problems and it seems very unlikely it will be an enduring form of money, let alone a safe long term store of value. I won’t bother to mention the well-known problems, but one that I haven’t seen mentioned is the problem that about 20% of Bitcoins have already been permanently lost. At that rate there will be none left in about 50 years. Then what? Change the rules to make some more? Oops.

    • fajensen says:

      Anyone remember Punk? Someone decided to go against society and the system and make music that was so bad, ugly and loaded with abuse (and dress style to match) that it would never go on day-time TV so that “The Machine” would never commercialise it.

      That lasted, what? 2 years?

      “The Machine” adapted, picked out all the good ideas, commercialised them to great success. The remaining stay-true punkers are still living illegally in abandoned buildings.

      Bitcoin is the same, a currency that is so unregulated and inefficient that the financial markets will not dare touch it!

      So now, once again the good parts are being subsumed: Blockchain is already being adopted to clear CDS, soon there will be proper digital currencies backed by central banks and regulation. Bitcoin itself is already wrapped in a condom of futures so now banks can touch it and not get digital/regulatory STD’s.

      It’s fun to be a front runner – but – its not something that will change the world order.

  33. Winston says:

    And Now We Find Out….


    which of the so-called “exchanges” have been acting as true exchanges (that is, not attempting to insert themselves into the transaction for profit-by-arbitrage) and which have been playing bucket shop, “not really delivered” games and similar.

    The opportunities for chicanery in a “market” that has a couple of thousand people controlling 95% of the float are ridiculous. When the people who own the “exchanges” are some of those folks the opportunities are not only ridiculous they’re nearly assured to be taking place, especially when there are no cops on the beat.

    The government would never allow the people with any material percentage ownership of the stock outstanding to run a stock exchange. Why? Because there is an obvious conflict that cannot be policed or resolved. Yet we have exactly that today with the Winklevoss twins, among others, in the crypto space. This, in any regulated market, would never be permitted and if attempted through concealment would lead to immediate indictments and imprisonment — for just cause. But in a space where no such rules exist, well, why not?

    In the crypto space, especially with the recent parabolic moves in price, the incentives for intentional misconduct are just too high. The simple arb games between exchanges and the privileged position of the exchanges in terms of settlement and pricing make a nearly-impossible to resist target for such activity, especially when there’s nothing like the Exchange Act that makes such illegal (never mind that nowhere near all of them are subject to US laws anyway!)

  34. Wolf Richter says:

    As an example for how they promote their ICOs and tokens:

    I got another particularly cute email promo, one of many this morning. It combines pot and crypto. They’re trying to get me to cover their thingy to create some buzz so that people will buy their tokens [I redacted the names]:

    “My name is [redacted], I am the content marketing manager for [redacted] – a leading Canadian cannabis social platform. We are in the process of doing an ICO that features an innovative [redacted]Coin Transaction Platform for the cannabis industry as well as other industries. I would love the opportunity to discuss with you further all of the interesting aspects of our self-regulated [redacted]Coin token. If you are interested, let me know.”

  35. Ifitsmellslikebee$ess says:

    The common theme with these speculative bubbles like cryptos is debt deflates the greed bubble.

    I have no idea where we are in the cycle.

    Eventually a selling spree occurs when leverage hits a tipping point and fear over takes greed.

    We should already be at a point where nobody thinks this can be a rational store of value where volatility is at rapid 20-30% swings in price. If you spend 30 minutes reading crytpo blogs you’ll quickly see how insane these people are, it’s like religion.

    • andy says:

      I prefer Wall Street religion for my 401K.
      While bitcoin at $19K looks like a bubble, the Facebook website at half Trillion dollars looks like a blue chip play.

  36. rob says:

    How can any cryptocurrency be considered a true currency?

    I hear it takes months to open a bitcoin account and there are dollar limits on how much you can sell per month. Seems like whatever the initial intentions of its founder, it’s designed to be a speculative poniz asset. I doubt the privacy aspect will stand the test of time.

  37. andy says:

    It is interesting that in most media they show bitcoin as a kind of a gold coin with B minted on it.
    Probably for same reason that they call stocks ‘securities’, and bonds ‘treasuries’.

    • Nick Kelly says:

      The only bond commonly called a treasury or T-bill,at least in the US, is one issued by the US Treasury. No one calls corporate bonds treasuries.
      US Treasury debt is currently the highest rated debt.

  38. Kenny Logins says:

    Sliding scale.

    Let idiots be idiots and perish, or protect people from themselves breeding state dependent morons.

    I like to exercise my freedom and my brain so living in a world where the majority don’t isn’t fun.

    So leave btc and let it serve as a vehicle to teach people not to be idiots if/when they lose it all.

    I’m sure everyone is aware of gambling?
    An industry where the player loses absolutely over time by definition.

    People see btc as a gamble. Stupidly.
    Let people be free to be stupid.

  39. raxadian says:

    Lesson learned, when big banks finally notice and show interest in a bubble it means it will crash hard.

    Is there anything else big banks have just “noticed” it exists?

  40. Rates says:

    And it has recovered …….

  41. Gene Seiler says:

    Although I set up an account a few weeks ago with Coinbase, the reviews of Coinbase on bittrust dot org have always been enough to deter me from going any further. Some say they’re bogus, but they seem very specific – and persuasive. I don’t know why anyone would post bogus reviews, without pointing the reader to a competing company. Usually the complaints are about the inability to sell for protracted periods, frozen accounts, etc.

  42. Gershon says:

    The speculators who levered themselves to the max to buy into these scam currency bubbles are going to be as nervous as a six-year-old at the Neverland Ranch.

  43. Trinacria says:

    What’s the old saying: ” please don’t confuse me with facts and logic”. As I said earlier… reminds me of digital tulips, or an electronic pyramid scheme. There will be many sad people when this is all over. Still too many folks out there that want something for nothing. It is the ugly part of human nature manifesting itself in electronic form. Something very sinister and misguided about all these markets with crypto-currencies leading the way. For year now, we see so many people panhandling at intersections all over the U.S. – when this is all over people will be fighting for curb space as they will be half a dozen deep at each corner ! Dear God, please help us! As Will Rogers said, I would rather have the return of my money.

  44. dos tacos mas says:

    My nickname is “MOE”. I’m going to create my own crypto called “MOEMoney”. I can guar-un-tee it will be a bigly hit ’cause after all…who doesn’t want mo’ money? If you’re interested, shoot me an email and I’ll set you right up with your own account. First 50 to sign up get an additional 50 MOEMoney coins. (Just pay an additional S & H charge)…and Feliz Navidad!

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